TV3 statement in response to inaccuracies in TVNZ media release

On Sunday, TVNZ took the unusual step of putting out a ratings release, not about one of their own properties, but about MediaWorks’ in-depth current affairs programme 60 Minutes. 

Many of you will have received this emailed release, the subject line of which reads: ‘60 Minutes drops 300K viewers since Feb – Monthly News Ratings.’

That statement is not true, and the release itself (copied below) contains a level of inaccuracy that requires correction.

Please note:

·         60 Minutes’ average audience in April was 256,500 people aged 5+
  o        The figure of 130,060 quoted by TVNZ is incorrect.

·         60 Minutes grew its audience in April.
  o        For the month of April, an average of 256,500 people aged 5+ watched each episode of 60 Minutes, a healthy increase of 8% on the average 5+ audience for March which was 237,600.

·         60 Minutes’ ratings surged in February as people tuned in for coverage of the Christchurch earthquake.  The figure of 422,100 quoted by TVNZ is an outlier, and cannot be compared meaningfully with other months’ ratings.
  o        Only one episode of 60 Minutes screened in February, and this episode was broadcast on 23 February, the day after the Christchurch quake.
  o        Not surprisingly, ratings were unusually high.
    o        It is misleading to use the February 23 ratings as any kind of benchmark.

·         60 Minutes has a new time and date – from this weekend, the programme will screen at 7.30pm on Sundays.
  o        This is the only significant change being made to the programme in the next fortnight, and has been promoted through all the usual channels.
  o        This new, premium timeslot reflects our confidence in the ability of the 60 Minutes team to consistently break news stories, deliver in-depth analysis on the issues that affect New Zealanders, and build their audience.

Original TVNZ release:


Sunday 1st May 2011 

There’s only one significant change in the news and current affairs viewership according to the monthly ratings data released this morning.

60 Minutes has shed almost half its audience since March and almost 300,000 viewers per week since February.

TV3’s flagship current affairs programme had an average of 422,120 viewers watching each week in February, 237,590 viewers watching each week in March and dropped another 107,530 viewers each week in April. 

Only 130,060 watched each episode of 60 Minutes last month which explains why TV3 is making significant changes to the programme within the next fortnight.

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  • Amanda P

    It is so inaccurate you can only assume TVNZ must have had
    the One News reporters write it.